The Client

A promotional merchandise company with offices worldwide, who had a history of winning large corporate clients. They already had several “punchout” connections to their large clients, and were very familiar with the benefits of integrating directly with customer systems.

The Problem

The company’s sales effort was working very well, and being able to offer their clients a “punchout” or “single sign-on” made it more attractive to larger companies.  A “punchout” or “single sign-on” is a technology that lets your clients go from their internal system directly to your website, without having another password to remember.

 

Setting up these connections was becoming more difficult and costly, because up to this point, each setup was done individually. There was no centralised management or documentation of the different connections.  To add to the difficulty, some of the clients had systems that did not use one of the industry standard methods to communicate!

 

To add another challenge, some clients needed specific “mapping” of the data from one system to another – for example, one client’s procurement system sent a combined “name”, but the e-Commerce system wanted separate first and last names for the users.

The Solution

We created a centralised system which could “speak” all the different standards used by procurement systems.  It allowed for plug-in modules so we were able to connect it to different e-commerce systems, such as Shopify, AIM Smarter’s Enterprise Store, and Magento.  It connects those e-Commerce websites to procurement systems such as SAP Ariba, Workday, Coupa, Oracle and Ivalua.

 

We then created a central register of all the connections, and a process for the set up of any new clients.

The Outcomes

The sales team were able to remove rekeying of orders for many accounts, and both clients and staff no longer had to worry about creating user accounts and resetting passwords.  With the advent of GDPR, this became even more important because it provided assurance to all parties that their employee data was stored and used in a controlled way.

 

Sales staff now actively talk to clients about integrating with their systems, because everybody in the business understands the value of removing a lot of administrative work.

 

Setup costs per client came down, because the system had pre-set configurations for the most common uses.  This was even true when some “mapping” was required, such as the first/last name issue described above.

Overall, the system allowed the same team to support a growing number of orders and clients, by keeping administrative overheads down.